Thursday, April 30, 2009

Monday - the 20th - Teaching Principals

After the busy weekend I still had an extra task on Monday. I had promised to give a lesson about blogs and Wikis in education to some of the gymnasium principals in Turku. My part started after lunch but I wanted to be present from the beginning to hear what the other lecturers had to say.

There were two very interesting parts I have to mention here.
There first one to start the day was the chief of the gymnasium and adult education office in Turku. He had very advanced opinions about the direction where teaching should go. Distant learning must be used also to give different options for the students and also to make learning more interesting. Lately the gymnasiums have had less appliers than before. It seems that professional trading is more interesting than the higher all-round education which basically tries to prepare the students for universities. He made it very clear that even the last ones opposing technology in teaching should change their opinion now! I agree :)

Even more interesting was the demonstration of two students about their use of Facebook. My children are too old; they have learned about Facebook after they had graduated but these two girls use Facebook in their everyday life. All events and parties are announced to friends in Facebook and people confirm that they are definitely attending, are not coming or don't know yet. Facebook is like e-mail to adults with the exception that you can really handle several people at the same time. Only a couple of their friends did not use Facebook which created some problems to others. I can imagine that; to me nowadays it is hard if I can't send e-mail to someone.

One of the principals asked how long times the girls spend on Facebook pages. I think that showed how much the worlds of us old people and young students differ. I have heard about the studies that students using Facebook are getting worse grades than those not using it but I think these two girls were already on the next level. Facebook is a tool for them, not the place where you use the childish applications. People who do that are people like me, having fun in a different way for a change.

I introduced the audience my Finnish blog, the Wiki I used in my computer science class and also told about Twitter. Like Saturday I was again talking about something no one knew. Fortunately I had info about the use of Twitter in classes and even universities and I had blogged about the Twitter conversations Saturday. Also I had to promote myself a little showing my story on Conceptis pages.

I am not sure if I convinced any of them. The good thing about all this is that my own principal shares my opinions totally. She even said in her introduction about me that I am "wonderfully nuts" about technology in teaching :)

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